This Wasn’t About A Fight for Canelo
This was a celebration. Of Canelo Alvarez. It was a homecoming, a little like Tyson Fury with Dillian Whyte recently, except that here the opponent was walking into the lion’s den.
The match was in Guadalajara, at the Estadio Akron, full to bursting it looked like, 50-60,000 were packed in, making a febrile feeling – the feeling of expectation making the atmosphere thick.
DAZN did an excellent job of hosting the party, even down to the opponent. Yes, this was for a super-middleweight title, but that wasn’t really the point, this was Canelo’s time and nothing was going to spoil the party.
John Ryder has been a champ himself and was known as a banger, but I struggled to find anyone who would entertain the thought of Ryder winning or getting close. A couple of pros I heard actually felt it necessary to make the possibility of Ryder making Canelo think a bit because he likes to mix it up and the fight could be explosive.
And Canelo needs this celebration. He won against Gennady Golovkin last time out, the third match in a much-fancied trilogy, but it didn’t really excite me much. And before that, Canelo was bested in quite an unequivocal way by Dmitry Bivol, my view being that Canelo was lacking on the night, a strangely sluggish performance helping Bivol but his superiority on the night in speed and intention so marked.
And so Canelo needed a line being drawn. He had come home to fight an opponent who wouldn’t give him a surprising night.
The Fight: Ryder Vs Canelo
Well, Canelo won. He didn’t get Ryder out of there, but he put him down and the scorecards were wide.
Some of my reasons for that Canelo win…
Taking Ryder’s strength away from him:
Ryder likes to fight on the front foot, get close, and take the impetus, something he did in round 4, trying to rough Canelo up.
It didn’t work. Alvarez took the front foot away from Ryder, he pushed the pace, he took the impetus, which made the Englishman fight on the back foot, not his preferable situation.
With this taken away, Ryder really only had his durability.
Ryder had a nose issue early on:
In the 3rd stanza, it seemed like. He had blood pouring from his schnozz and was blowing a little in the rest between 3 and 4, he probably couldn’t breathe through it.
And that would have affected his movement, should he want to try any – he didn’t seem too keen throughout though.
Canelo just hits too hard:
Let’s be clear, Ryder had some success, even considering Canelo’s increasingly tight guard these days.
Ryder get off some punches as Canelo started his combos, knocking him off his rhythm and thwarting his flurries, he seemed to be happy to take one to give one, which is fine sometimes.
But not when Alvarez has such concussive punches. A simple one-two down the middle put Ryder down in the 5th, falling gracefully as if lowering himself into a comfy chair. Then one right hook which was blocked sent an unbalanced Ryder stumbling 5 or so steps in the next round.
Alvarez just doesn’t seem to need much momentum on his shots to get the power in, so there’s very little opportunity to see them coming.
The champ was patient:
He knew it would come and didn’t need to rush things, he’s a notoriously slow starter and neither of them threw a punch for the first 45 seconds of the contest.
Canelo looked for a way through, zoned in on the gaps and was helped by Ryder’s punches which didn’t seem tough enough to concern him too much.
Ryder was game, kept throwing throughout, even when looking uncomfortable after realising the back foot was where he would be in this fight and landed combos, an uppercut, and tried to get the jab working.
And yet, never troubled Canelo. This is just the way it was expected, a game opponent who is dangerous if you sleep on him, but an opponent who could be silenced on pretty clear-cut terms.
Ryder was game and pretty entertaining, so he’ll be a popular pick for high-rolling opponents. He might have to come to an accommodation with not winning a belt but getting a few larger paydays.
Canelo asked for Bivol. As the Daily Mail reported; ‘Everybody knows, we want Bivol,'” Canelo said. “If the fight with Bivol doesn’t happen, then we’ll see…When asked if he wants to face Bivol at 175 pounds again, Alvarez was clear: “Yes, same rules, same terms, same everything.”
and yes, this would be the most logical and very tasty fight. But David Benevidez is in the mix too, after his recent success against Caleb Plant; this is pretty tasty too.
The Bivol contest is the one being mentioned first and Canelo will want to avenge the loss, but the nature of that loss makes you think.
And does the fight against Ryder make you think the rematch would be any different? We, this wasn’t about the fight, it was about the party, not about the boxing but about the brand.
Bivol might spoil that party.
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